Monday, January 23, 2017

EDUCATION - How the Deck is Stacked

"Why so many students from for-profit schools are left in debt limbo" PBS NewsHour 1/16/2017


SUMMARY:  Students who attend for-profit college and training programs are more likely to borrow, borrow more and struggle to repay their loans.  Not only that, but the overall graduation rate at for-profit institutions is just 27 percent.  Meanwhile, a number of schools have shuttered, leaving former attendees with debt and no way to pay it back.  Special correspondent Lizzie O'Leary reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Student loan debt is an issue facing many Americans, and can take years to pay off.

In particular, the problems some students face at for-profit schools are getting closer scrutiny.

Marketplace's Lizzie O'Leary has the story.  It's part of our series 'How the Deck Is Stacked.'  It's in partnership with Frontline and Marketplace, and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

LIZZIE O'LEARY, Special correspondent:  Before she became a mother, New Yorker Danielle Adorno (ph) dreamed of working as a pastry chef.  When she came across ads for the 'Art Institute of New York,' it seemed like a great fit.  And she says school administrators promised her a lot.

DANIELLE LOPEZ, Student Loan Borrower:  They were very adamant on like their job placement rates, boasting over like 90 percent job placement, boasting about their chef instructors working at Nobu and all these high-end restaurants.  You would think, oh, OK, I'm going to get the quality education that I'm looking for, because that's what it's about, quality.

You know, I figure, if I'm going to pay that much — that amount of money for such a short program, I'm going to be getting something out of it.  And that wasn't what happened.

LIZZIE O'LEARY:  She claims the school never helped her get work in her field.  And she says employers don't value the degree in the way she thought they would.  She's no longer paying her loan company her $25,000 debt.

DANIELLE LOPEZ:  They don't deserve a single penny out of me, because I didn't get the education I paid for.

LIZZIE O'LEARY:  You did sign a contract when you took out that money.

DANIELLE LOPEZ:  I did.  And I also thought if — I feel like it stopped being about education and started becoming about consumerism.  I'm paying you for a service.  I paid you for an education.  I paid you to train me.  I paid you to give me this 90 percent job placement rate that you boasted about.  You told me you were going to place me in a job.

And, instead, I got a program that was shutting down.

LIZZIE O'LEARY:  The Art Institute's parent company, Education Management Corporation, was the target of a federal investigation.  Department of Justice officials say the company acted as a recruitment mill.  It reached a $95.5 million false claims settlement.  But there was no determination of liability.

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. Attorney General:  This kind of abuse hurts not only taxpayers, but also the students.

LIZZIE O'LEARY:  The Art Institute of New York's Web site says it is no longer accepting students.  And the campus has been put on probation by their accreditor.

In the last few years, the Obama administration put many new regulations in place to address aggressive marketing and job placement claims by several for-profit schools.

No comments: